Community swim teams extend reach

Kelly and Greg Maine are community swim team parents from Village Green subdivision, among scores of parents on hand at Sugarwood subdivision pool Thursday evening, June 16, for a Gators versus Stingrays showdown.

Naturally, they cheered for Sugarwood.

The Maines have four children swimming for Sugarwood this season: Noah, 14, Gabrielle, 12, Madeline, 9, and Isaac, 7.

With 10 children total, “Last year we had seven swimmers,” Kelly said. “Noah likes the breaststroke; Madeline and Gabrielle like the butterfly. Isaac just likes to swim.

“The siblings love to swim with Sugarwood because it’s a great environment, very encouraging, and they just love fellowshipping with their friends. They started when they were [age] five.”

Greg said about community swim teams, “All age groups can participate together, so it’s a good family event for that reason.”

Village Green swim team also is popular even beyond its subdivision boundaries.

Lauren and Steve Karnitz, from Country Manor subdivision “two streets out of Village Green” according to Lauren, are the parents of Gators swimmers Leo, 10, and Evan, 8. Both have been with the team since age 5.

“We love Village Green, it’s a team environment; great coaching so they’re developing as swimmers. But they’re also developing a family of friends and

a support group that helps see them grow through their senior ye-ar in high school hop-efully,” Lauren said.

“They love it; especially Leo, swimming is absolutely his life. He has his summer friends, his summer family. It’s just a wonderful group of people.”

On the other side of Kingston Pike, on the north side, and few miles west of Sugarwood was the other neighborhood swim team battle last Thursday in Farragut.

While Fox Den hosted Get-tysvue among an equally large, enthusiastic blend of youth and parents, the same theme of acceptance beyond subdivision boundaries was evident.

Charity and David Heatherly are from Harrison Springs subdivision in the Hardin Valley area, yet their two swimmers, Olivia, 10, and Aaron, 8, are 100 percent Fox Den Foxes.

“We had friends here and we heard good things about the club,” Charity said about the family’s first year on the Fox Den team.

Olivia said about her team, “I get a chance to be in the water with other people.”

As for Aaron, “Every time we go to a pool he’s practicing,” Charity said. “He keeps practicing dives, practicing strokes. And he loves the coaches.”

As a parent, “My main motivation is it’s a skill that they will have for life, even in later life if their leg joints give out and they can’t ever run and do other sports one day,” Charity said. “Just to be able to maintain health when they’re my age and older.”